by Pastor Adam Sinnett
Every good dad takes time to read the Bible with his kids. Even from a young age, kids are learning more than we realize. Last week our two year old son, Carter, woke up and Jen asked him, “Did you have any dreams?” “Yes.” “What did you dream about?” “I dreamed about preaching the Bible!” He is a particular fan of the stories of Zaccheus and Nicodemus.
But, which Bible do you begin with particularly when kids are little? Below are four Bibles that Jen and I have found to be helpful as our kids have grown. You know your children best so its up to you to decide when its time to transition to a different Bible or add a new one into the rotation. Though each of your children is different, I put these in rough order of recommended age.
The Rhyme Bible (birth+) is the first Bible we used with our kids. It focuses on individual stories of the Bible, is well illustrated and has short rhyming chapters. It keeps things very simple for even the youngest of kids. To be honest, I’ve been tempted to rip out the chapter on Jonah but its solid otherwise.
The Big Picture Story Bible (2+ years old) is an excellent children’s Bible. Transition to this Bible once your kids are able to listen longer and grasp more. The chapters are a little longer, but it is the best children’s Bible when it comes to presenting the overarching story of God presented in scripture.
The Jesus Storybook Bible (2+ years old) is also an excellent children’s Bible, probably the best all around. The chapters are longer with more text than the previous two, but is the best children’s Bible when it comes to showing how Jesus is the hero of the story of God. I literally wept when I first read the introduction. It is beautiful. I recommend reading this in rotation with The Big Picture Story Bible.
As your kids get older (5+ years old) I recommend transitioning to a Bible that sticks closer to the actual text of scripture, such as ESV Children’s Bible. However, I do recommend rotating in The Jesus Storybook and The Big Picture Story Bible from time to time to reinforce the unified story of God with Jesus as the hero.
On a different note, Pastor Mark has written an ebook, “Pastor Dad” that addresses scriptural insight on fatherhood. You can find that for free here.